View Full Version : First "long trip"...

05-28-2008, 04:04 PM
Elaine and I just returned from our first extended trip in our '82 Newell. We travelled to Yosemite to see the waterfalls in full force. We were there last August in our Class C, but due to the drought only Yosemite Falls was running at a "trickle", and the Merced River was extremely low. We were not disappointed this time and were able to see most of the waterfalls. We stayed in Upper Pines Campground, and all systems worked well. Got a chance to use the engine block warmer the day were leaving as it was in the low 40's due to the storm that hit Southern California the end of last week.

On our way out of Yosemite Valley we were treated to heavy rain, and then snow at 6,000' for about 10 minutes. Of course, on every narrow corner there was a tour bus coming at me. As those of you who have driven HWY 41 in and out of Yosemite the stretch of road from the tunnel to the park gate is very narrow. After the park gate it gets wider.

The cold, and rain gave me an opportunity to become more familiar with my heating and defrosting systems, as well as the windshield wipers. Took me a while to get used to the wipers operating at different speeds...each, as you all know, is individually activated with a separate switch. Mine run off air pressure, apparently. Anyway, they did their job, and the defroster did it's job so no worries.

One problem we encountered on the way home was one of the house 8d batteries boiled over. These batteries were installed less than a year ago. Why would one battery go bad like that? The result of the boil over was that a heavy drain was being put on the other batteries. I noticed that the batteries were not charging while driving like I was used to, and didn't realize there was a problem until we parked that night in front of my sister's home in Santa Barbara. We had stopped to eat once, and then at a rest stop, and then again at Buellton, and had no problem starting the coach, so I think the problem worsened considerably between Buellton and Santa Barbara. Within 15-20 minutes of shutting the coach off all 4 batteries (house and engine) flatlined! I opened up the house battery compartment and saw steam coming out...wow! I pulled both trays out and discovered the left one was were the steam was coming out, and it was extremely hot to the touch. I immediately disconnected it from the system, and plugged in the coach to recharge the 3 remaining batteries. Overnight I brought them back to almost 100%. The coach started fine, and we drove home without further incident. The remaining batteries continued to charge at a rate that looked more familiar to me, and they were at 100% by the time we shut the coach off in front of our home.

The coach is now at my mechanic's to have the electrical system checked, replace the defective battery, and to determine if something is wrong with the converter/charger, although I wouldn't think so, since the other three batteries were unaffected.

All things being equal, it was a problem I was able to deal with, and thankfully I was near an electrical outlet to recharge the batteries, and didn't have to call AAA.

05-28-2008, 06:22 PM
It is likely that the failed battery developed an internal short and was pretending it was a giant heater. Sometimes batteries will just fail catastrophically. If the other batteries were overcharging I would suspect the voltage regulator/alternator but since they appear to be functioning properly after the cooked battery was removed, I would put my money on it just being the battery.

05-28-2008, 06:47 PM
Thanks, Michael....that was my thought, too...just a bad battery.

Richard and Rhonda
05-28-2008, 09:01 PM
Hey Clarke,

What was the final deal on your tires? Did you weigh the coach? How were your inflation pressures relative to weight?

Did you get a chance to look at the date codes? How old were the tires that failed?

Thanks for posting about the trip.

05-29-2008, 12:23 AM
Hi Richard:

I had the coach weighed about 10 days ago. Here are the weights given to me:

Left Front: 4,940
Right Front: 4,606
Left Rear: 10,180
Right Rear: 9,206

These weights are definitely under the maximum allowable weights front and rear. I'm a little puzzled by the almost 1,000 lb. difference between LR and RR.

My mechanic is checking the date codes now on the remaining Goodyear Tires on the rear, so I'll have that answer for you shortly.

As far as inflation, I used maximum inflation on all four corners. Figured it was better not be under inflated. I used the hand method each time I stopped and found the tires to be warm, but not HOT, so that's good, too.

Any thoughts?


Richard and Rhonda
05-29-2008, 04:12 PM
You need two pieces of data to complete your investigation. The date code is one. The second is you need the Load Range of the tire. Is it a G, H, J ? You look up that load range in the table supplied on the manufacturer web site and it will tell you the inflation recommended for the load.

Those pieces of info will tell you if the tire was old, or if by mistake the coach was fitted with tires not rated to carry the load.

05-29-2008, 07:48 PM
Hi Richard...the load rating is "G" on the Goodyear tires, as well as on the other tires. Should I have "H"??

05-29-2008, 08:09 PM
Need to know the size of your tires to determine the loads that can be carried on a G rated tire. You might check this link (http://www.goodyear.com/rv/tirecare/loadinflationtables.html) for inflation tables. With the size of your tires you can find the loads at various pressures.

Richard and Rhonda
05-29-2008, 08:57 PM
We are giving you snippets of info, and if this is your first time with this issue, perhaps we have done a disservice.

So I'll start from the top. The manufacturers make tires in different sizes of course, but also within a size of tire, they also make different load ranges. If you go to one of the inflation tables for a specific model tire, you will find an array of sizes and load ranges. The tables are laid out so that for a given size tire and load range, they will tell you the maximum load on the tire for a given air pressure all the way up to the maximum air pressure.

Now take your axle weights. Use the heaviest weight per axle as your weight. You do not run unequal pressures from side to side, but you may run different pressures on the front and back. You use the table (size and load range) to determine the recommended inflation for the load you have.